founded on October 10th 2008

History

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Founded in 2008 by Erick and Isaac King to promote healthy development of children and fathers, the Capital Youth Empowerment Program (CYEP) created four primary programs: Fathers in Touch, Project Success, Decoded STEM Mentoring, and Fathers in Tech. Growing up in a single-parent household, the Kings experienced first-hand the impact an absent father had on child development. This experience fueled their motivation to address gaps in human service systems by designing programs focusing on the “fatherless home.” Erick King’s 20 years working in juvenile justice, and 10 years working with community nonprofits, combined with Isaac King’s entrepreneurial spirit and expansive network, began their journey to create CYEP.

In partnership with the Alexandria Juvenile Courts and mayor William Euille, CYEP offered its first programming to residents of Alexandria, VA in January 2009. Extending from this early success, CYEP’s Fathers in Touch classes engaged Alexandria and Fairfax county fathers in family and relationship skill-building. With support from the Northern Virginia Urban League and the Stafford Foundation, the Fathers in Touch program has now served more than 900 fathers and 500 families across Arlington County, the City of Alexandria, Fairfax County, and Washington, DC.

In 2010, the Alexandria Heath Department approached CYEP to provide teen pregnancy prevention classes to help educate teenage males on the negative impact that having children at an early age has. CYEP leveraged city resources and a grant from the Stafford Foundation to create Project Success to provide these services to Alexandria’s youth. Promoting positive youth development through the prevention of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, Project Success expanded its service through partnerships with the Alexandria Campaign Against Teen Pregnancy. The program earned federal recognition with a 2013 Personal Responsibility Education grant, which expanded Project Success to area shelters and centers: The Less Secure Shelter, Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center, The City of Alexandria Community Recreation Centers, the Boys and Girls Club of Alexandria, the Alexandria Court Service Unit, and Alexandria City High School and Community Lodgings.

In 2019, CYEP identified a community need for workforce development in STEM careers and activities. In response to this need, CYEP developed pilot programs Decoded STEM Mentoring and Fathers in Tech. Both programs aim to engage community residents in STEM careers through mentoring and career coaching. The Decoded STEM Mentoring program, developed as part of a $100,000 Juvenile Justice System Improvement grant, increases access to STEM education for students in vulnerable communities. The Fathers in Tech (FIT) program, developed as part of a $5 million award from the Department of Health and Human Services, supports community fathers in attaining the technical skills needed for long-term employment. On the basis of its community involvement programming, CYEP has been recognized with the NAACP Community Service Award, the White House Champion of Change Award, and been included in the NVULYPN Next Generation of Leaders and SCAN’s Allies in Prevention.

Fathers in Touch

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Fathers in Touch was developed in the City of Alexandria and quickly expanded to Fairfax County in 2009. The fatherhood program included 12 classroom sessions, supervised monthly activities, and professional presentations, including child support enforcement, domestic violence, and mental health/substance abuse. The program accepted various clients facing challenges such as… child support, child protective services, custody, and divorce. Social services and the courts referred clients to the program. The program’s key outcomes include: 1) enhancing parenting skills, 2) lowering risk of abuse and neglect, 3) increasing father/child engagement, 4) improving co-parenting and communications skills. Fathers in Touch has served over 900 fathers over the past 13 years, with a success rate of 80% of the participants showing a lower risk of abuse and neglect and 85% indicating an increase of positive relationships with their children and family. The program provides services in Arlington County, the City of Alexandria, Fairfax County, and Washington, DC.

1,000+

Families Served

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Capital youth empowerment program

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1,000+

Families Served

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Project Success

In 2010, CYEP expanded its health and relationship skill-building services to create Project Success, a teen sexual health program, Project Success. The pilot program began as a grant from the City of Alexandria Health Department and quickly expanded to a partnership with the Alexandria Campaign Against Teen pregnancy. In 2013, the new partnership was awarded a Federal Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) grant.

The grant allowed CYEP to extend teen pregnancy services to The Less Secure Shelter (Shelter Care), Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center, The City of Alexandria Community Recreation Centers: (Cora Kelly & Charles Houston Centers), Boys and Girls Club of Alexandria, Alexandria Court Service Unit, TC Williams High School and Community Lodgings Inc. Project Success has served over 1200 youth.

The Decoded STEM Mentoring Program

The Decoded STEM Mentoring program began with pilot programs in Arlington County and the City of Alexandria. These initial pilots resulted in a $100,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services . The Decoded STEM Mentoring program is an afterschool program that includes STEM activities and mentoring for Black and Latino 5th grade students at Cora Kelly and Jefferson Houston School in Alexandria. The program provides awareness to STEM careers and activities, including coding, robotics, and forensic science. Each student also engages with college-bound high school and college students who provide both group and one-on-one mentoring. The program aims to provide awareness to STEM, increase developmental assets, decrease risk factors, and increase protective factors for marginalized students. 

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HHS fatherhood fire grant

Fathers in Tech

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CYEP’s most notable accomplishment is becoming a subgrantee for the HHS Fatherhood FIRE grant for the fiscal year 2021 through 2026. CYEP partnered with NextFlex, the DOD Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Institute, to secure approximately $5,000,000 in resources over the next five years for the National Capital Region to support fatherhood and workforce development programming. The Fathers in Tech (FIT) program combines workshops to strengthen the family unit and support financial stability, individualized career coaching, and workforce development programs.

CYEP has partnered with the Eastern Mid-Atlantic Carpenter’s Union to create a construction pre-apprentice program and Melwood to support computer certification training. These partnerships unite the fathers that graduate from the FIT program in their attainment of technical skills for workplace readiness.

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